Western Animation / Dennis the Menace

Ruff, Gina Gillotti, Jay Weldon, Dennis Mitchell, Margaret Wade and Joey McDonald

In 1986, Dennis the Menace (US) was adapted into a 65-Episode Cartoon for U.S. syndication by DiC Entertainment, later moving to Saturday Mornings on CBS.

The 1980s animated series provides examples of:

  • Acrofatic: Mr. Wilson.
  • Ad Bumpers: Each in the form of a single-panel comic strip and narrated by Dennis.
    "We'll be right back!" / "Hey, welcome back!"
    "Hey, gang, stay tuned!" / "And here we go again!"
    "We'll be back in a flash!" / (no narration for the last, followed by closing credits)
  • And a Diet Coke: Concerned over Mr. Wilson's health, his wife forces him to enter a gym. When Dennis' antics get him expelled from there, Mr. Wilson is grateful enough to give the kid a sundae. Mr. Wilson has one as well but, wanting to lose weight, gives Dennis his sundae's cherry.
  • Animal Athlete Loophole: There ain't no rule that says a dog can't play football! There is, however, a rule that PeeBee points out in the episode "Come Fly With Me", where plays cannot be made with a player's mouth, so sadly Ruff is disqualified.
  • Animesque: Not so much the character designs, but the animation style is very Japanese. It's especially evident in the intro sequence.
  • Balloon-Bursting Bird: A variation happened in one episode where Mr. Wilson parachutes from a plane, but a bird pecks at his parachute - leading to a long drop.
    • It happened again in another episode when Dennis gets accidentally caught up in a hot-air balloon race. A flock of birds burst one of the hot-air balloons.
  • Banister Slide
  • Canada, Eh?: However, this plays up to stereotypes.
  • Canon Foreigner: PeeBee, Jay,note  Lars, Mr. Cavallini and Professor Mentalapse.
    • Not necessarily in the first two cases. PeeBee (albeit with blonde hair) had previously appeared in a side story of the second issue of the comic book series, and a young black character who was practically identical to Jay (After the aftermath of the whole "Jackson" incident) named Cleveland, had appeared in several newspaper comics in the early 80's.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The episode Trembly Assembly is notorious for this; not to mention the writing is oft-criticised, and the plain Mind Screw situation.
  • Five-Token Band: Dennis, Joey, PeeBee, Jay and Gina. A semi-recurring character named Tommy was ironically the Sixth Ranger. Margaret sometimes fills the Sixth Ranger as well.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: Margaret often does this to "Dennis Mitchell!".note 
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • This exchange from "The Abominable Snow Menace":
    Martha: Isn't it just too lucky for words?
    George: Well, I can think of a few words.
    Dennis: What are they, Mr. Wilson?
    George: If I told you, you'd have to have your ears washed out with soap.
    • Joey apparently flips off Mrs. Wilson in "The Invisible Kid".
    • In "Deserted with Dennis", Mr. Wilson discovers Dennis in his suitcase when he flies to a remote island. After Dennis asks where they are, Mr. Wilson says, "I thought it was heaven, now I'm changing my mind!"
  • Headless Horseman: There was an episode where Dennis scared some people by pretending to be a headless horseman.
  • Market-Based Title: Just "Dennis" in the UK due to the Name's the Same Dennis the Menace (UK).
    • All-New Dennis the Menace was called Incredible Dennis the Menace in some countries.
  • Off-Model: This is a DiC cartoon after all.
  • Revival: 1993's All-New Dennis the Menace. Ran for 13 episodes.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: One episode has Joey mistaking a bar of "Saop" for cheese.
  • Second Place Is for Winners: Mr. Wilson enters a contest for a vacation. He wins first prize, but the vacation package is second prize. First prize is... a pet goose or duck.
  • Shout-Out: In one episode, Dennis hums the theme to Inspector Gadget.
  • Stealth Pun: The original characters PeeBee and Jay. Think about that for a second.
  • The Tonsillitis Episode: One episode had Dennis in the hospital for a "tonsil-neck-tummy".
  • Tsundere: Margaret (at least in this version) is type A.
  • Zeerust: Dennis sneaks out to see The Future in 3D.